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The Night Circus

THE NIGHT CIRCUS is my debut novel, available in paperback in July from Vintage in the US, Harvill Secker in the UK & a great many other lovely publishers around the world.

DON’T MISS: A Magical New Scene to Celebrate the Paperback Release!

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Find a Reader’s Guide

Starred review from Kirkus.

Starred review from Publishers Weekly.

“Magical. Enchanting. Spellbinding. Mesmerizing.”

—Associated Press

“Get ready to be won over…. Part love story, part fable, and a knockout debut…. So sparklingly alive, you’ll swear the pages are breathing in your hands…. The Night Circus defies both genres and expectations.”

—The Boston Globe

“The Night Circus made me happy. Playful and intensely imaginative, Erin Morgenstern has created the circus I have always longed for and she has populated it with dueling love-struck magicians, precocious kittens, hyper-elegant displays of beauty and complicated clocks. This is a marvelous book.”

—Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife

“The Night Circus is the real deal, the kind of novel that will appeal to romantics, history buff, circus aficionados, mystery fans, and lovers of a good story. . . . Steeped in circus lore, filled with evocative scenes of magic and illusion, enriched by characters as varied as the clockmaker who crafted the circus’s iconic timepiece . . . The Night Circus is worth staying up for.”

—Bookreporter

“[A] few pages in…and you know you are in the presence of an extraordinary storyteller.”

—The Daily Beast

“Echoing the immense pleasure of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, The Night Circus presents a sprightly version of 19th-century English magic. . . . A love story for adults that feels luxuriously romantic.”

—The Washington Post

“Dark and extravagantly imagined.”

—People

“[Morgenstern] employs her supple prose to conjure up a series of wonders: A maze made of clouds, a ship of books floating on a sea of ink, a tent that seems to contain a vast desert.”

—Salon

“Reading this novel is like having a marvelous dream, in which you are asleep enough to believe everything that is happening, but awake enough to relish the experience and understand that it is magical.”

—Newsday

“Morgenstern’s exquisitely realized world will have [you] wishing to run off and join the circus.”

—USA Today

“Morgenstern’s novel feels crafted from the fabric of a dream, and the circus itself never fails to astound. For me, the only real disappointment was that I couldn’t buy a ticket.”

—Yvonne Zip, The Christian Science Monitor

“Ladies and Gentlemen! Step right up and prepare to be enchanted…. [Will] make you sit right down on the floor of your library or bookstore to see what Morgenstern conjures up next.”

—Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“A Victorian curio cabinet…. In The Night Circus, Morgenstern makes the artificial real, turning atmosphere into art.”

—Kansas City Star

“The world of The Night Circus is elaborately designed, fantastically imagined and instantly intoxicating—as if the reader had downed a glass of absinthe and leapt into a hallucination.”

—Rachel Syme, NPR

“[A] dazzling foray into the dreamscape of illusion.”

—Family Circle

“Pure pleasure…Erin Morgenstern is a gifted, classic storyteller, a tale-teller, a spinner of the charmed and mesmerizing — I had many other things I was supposed to be doing, but the book kept drawing me back in and I tore through it. You can be certain this riveting debut will create a group of rêveurs all its own.”

—Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

“Every once in awhile you find a novel so magical that there is no escaping its spell. The Night Circus is one of these rarities — engrossing, beautifully written and utterly enchanting. If you choose to read just one novel this year, this is it.”

—Danielle Trussoni, author of Angelology

“‘Dark as soot and bright as sparks,’ The Night Circus still holds me willingly captive in a world of almost unbearable beauty. This is a love story on a grand scale: it creates, it destroys, it ultimately transcends. Take a bow, Erin Morgenstern. This is one of the best books I have ever read.”

—Brunonia Barry, author of The Lace Reader

“The Night Circus is a gorgeously imagined fable poised in the high latitudes of Hans Christian Anderson and Oscar Wilde, with a few degrees toward Hesse’s “Steppenwolf” for dangerous spice. The tale is masterfully written and invites allegorical interpretations even as its leisurely but persistent suspense gives it compelling charm. An enchanting read.”

—Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love

“A riveting debut. The Night Circus pulls you into a world as dark as it is dazzling, fully-realized but still something out of a dream. You will not want to leave it.”

—Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger’s Wife

“Around and Around (and Around)”
A Magical New Scene from The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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